Verdi: Don Carlo

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Verdi: Don Carlo

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Manufacturer Description

Politics, love, and family conflict make a heady brew in Verdi's masterpiece, originally set to a French text for Paris in 1867. In 1882, the composer made an Italian version with big cuts, lopping off the entire first act, which here is restored by Giulini. His pointed, nuanced conducting makes this recording the best available. An ideal Don Carlo requires the unattainable: five great singers and an expert Verdi conductor. This 1970 set has glorious voices that don't dig deep enough for this multilayered drama. The young Domingo sounds fresh, but lacks the free top that the part needs. Milnes has the voice for Rodrigo but, like Domingo and Caballé, is too generalized. Raimondi is too light-voiced for Philip, and the confrontation scene consequently lacks the chilling tension that Tito Gobbi and Boris Christoff bring to it on an earlier EMI cut led by Gabriele Santini. Rival recordings have bigger flaws and few of the virtues that are displayed here, such as Caballé's extraordinarily beautiful if detached singing. True Verdians also will want Pappano's French version, also on EMI, which features Alagna as the hapless prince. --Dan Davis

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